WDCS Survey Reveals Americans Oppose Keeping Orcas In Captivity
An independent survey commissioned by WDCS, together with partners The Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Welfare Institute, shows that the number of Americans who strongly oppose keeping killer whales in captivity for public display is double that of those who are strongly in favour of the practice.
The first-ever public opinion poll on US attitudes toward keeping orcas in captivity for display reveals that support for the keeping of killer whales in captivity is low.
The results show a high level of concern regarding the impacts of removing these animals from the wild and keeping them in captivity. Significantly, the poll reveals the public’s lack of enthusiasm towards keeping orcas in captivity and that captive orcas are not, and would not, be the primary reason for visiting these facilities. 71 percent of respondents say that if zoos, aquaria and marine mammal theme parks were to end the practice of keeping killer whales, they would still visit. Indeed, a further 14% would be more likely to visit if the practice of displaying killer whales were to stop. Over 80% of those surveyed believe that not allowing orcas to engage in natural behaviour, and the health impacts of confinement in small pools is a sufficient reason to stop keeping orcas in captivity.
Thank god attitudes are finally starting to change.
My one and only visit to SeaWorld took place when I was about 7 years old on a holiday in San Diego. Their show, combined with the Free Willy movies, ignited a love affair with killer whales that quickly became an obsession. But when I got home and spent some time finding out more about them, even at that age I could see that something so large, so intelligent and so social did not belong in an isolated tank that was beyond inadequate in comparison to its natural habitat. I thought killer whales were amazing, but discovering more about them rapidly caused me to abandon any wishes I’d had to work with captive whales. I searched the net and asked my mum if we could donate to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). It’s been 13 years and I still sponsor my ‘adopted’ whale, Simoom, to this day. She is as much her own personality as any of the SeaWorld whales people seem to fall in love with, and I get updates on how she’s doing through the year. She is still alive and healthy at 37 years of age, rather than on her last legs as she most likely would be in captivity, if alive at all, and has had four healthy calves. Best of all, I know my money is going towards a great cause that is actively fighting to conserve whales and dolphins and keep them in the wild, where they should be. Whale captivity has recently been thrown into the spotlight with the OSHA-SeaWorld court case and newly released footage of Kasatka’s attack on Ken Peters - which so clearly highlights the dangers of interaction between humans and whales and how impossible it is for trainers to have adequate control over these animals. Please - if you really love killer whales, drop your selfish dreams of performing with them and support a cause that will truly help their welfare, and we can make captive cetaceans a thing of the past.
Maestro using all his corgi willpower to not devour this treat immediately. From mrmaestro.tumblr.com
- Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus)
- Forceps Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus)
- Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger longirostris)